ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar likely to be replaced


Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, the Chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is likely to be replaced within the next few weeks, according to a media report.

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Akhtar was appointed the director general of ISI in September 2014 and took office in November 2014, when he replaced the retiring Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam. The appointment is normally for a three-year period unless the ISI chief retires or is replaced by the army chief. The Nation, citing a security official privy to the development, reported of the impending change of command and said preparations were underway for the changes.

“Intriguingly, he may be leaving the position earlier than the typical three-year tenure of a ISI DG,” the report said.

Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, is most likely to be replaced by, The corps commander of Karachi, the official was quoted as saying. Another senior security official was quoted as saying that Akhtar — who has already served in Karachi as Director General, Sindh Rangers — knows the challenges in Karachi and “the swapping makes sense”.

When asked about the time of switch an official said, “It depends on whether the army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, gets an extension or retires as announced. I don’t think the notification of other changes in military command will come before that,” he said. “There are a lot of variables involved.”

Raheel had announced earlier this year that he is not seeking an extension and would retire in November

However, the chief military spokesman, Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, , denied the replacement of intelligence chief. “No such thing,” Bajwa said when asked about it. Even the paper did not cite any reason behind the replacement.

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